Design Tip du Semaine #3: Don’t Stick to the Script Tuesday 26 July, 2011

This is part of an ongoing series to help people be better designers, but not better than me. The column’s name may have to change again, due to the surprising number of non-French-speaking people who think “semaine” means “semen.” I assure you, this would be a very different column if that were the case. “Semaine” […]

This is part of an ongoing series to help people be better designers, but not better than me. The column’s name may have to change again, due to the surprising number of non-French-speaking people who think “semaine” means “semen.” I assure you, this would be a very different column if that were the case. “Semaine” means “week,” as in, “You can’t have children because your semaine is too week.”

Today we must talk about using script typefaces. You know you use them, sometimes when you’re not even designing a wedding invitation. And it’s okay; you’ll be forgiven, if not by me, then by God, who’s really really good at that sort of thing, except for when He chooses to go with genocide instead. No matter how much I disapprove of your typographical choices, I will never choose human extinction. Count on that!

You will assuredly not be forgiven by anyone, however, if you go too far with your use of script type, like the greedy dwarves who delved too deep in Moria. These typesetters unearth the unholiest Balrog of typography when they jam down the caps lock key and pound out important headlines—in all-capitals script. This is as much an abomination as are golden doodles and those weird weiner-German shepherds that should only be owned by British royalty as a public acknowledgment of their own inbreeding.

Be wise. Be safe. The lower case is your friend. Fiery pits are not, and that is where all-caps freaks end up, foundering in lava with the people who write their emails in Zapf Chancery.

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